Knapp Medical Center: the mid- Vallely’s Only Primary Stroke Center
Knapp Medical Center is certified as the only Advanced Primary Stroke Center in the Mid-Valley by The Joint Commission, the national accrediting organization for healthcare organizations. Knapp is also the only hospital in the Mid-Valley designated as a Primary (Level II) Stroke Facility by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
In addition, Knapp also received the “Gold Plus” and “Target: Stroke Honor Roll” awards for the care of stroke patients from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.
Stroke is an Emergency – Call 911 Without Delay
At Knapp, a “clot-busting” medication called tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) is used when medically indicated to reverse strokes or “brain attacks”. The medication is most effective if it is administered as soon as possible from when symptoms of a stroke start – and no later than three to four and a half hours after the onset of a stroke. Because of this tight time window, it is important to call 911 immediately when a loved one or another person shows symptoms of a ‘brain attack’.
Signs & Symptoms of Stroke
“BE FAST” – by calling 911 if you see any of these symptoms:
“B” is for BALANCE: Look at the person … is he or she suddenly having trouble with walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination?
“E” is for EYES: Does the person have sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes?
“F” is for FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop? Does their smile look uneven?
“A” is for ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Is one arm numb or weak?
“S” is for SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
“T” is for TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. Also, note the time that symptoms of stroke first started; that will be important information to give to the medical professionals who treat the stroke victim.
Emergency room patients at Knapp Medical Center have immediate, 24/7/365 access to board-certified neurologists for the treatment of a wide array of neurological emergencies, including stroke, migraines, seizures, and head injuries. By using high-tech monitors and video equipment, patients and on-site physicians can converse and interact with these specialists remotely. Like Knapp Medical Center, Specialists On Call has received the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval.
What is a Stroke?
Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to the brain and the blood vessels within the brain. A stroke occurs when an artery that carries oxygen to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs — and that part of the brain starts to die.
Risk Factors for Stroke
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Heavy alcohol use
- Physical inactivity and obesity
- Atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)
- Family history of stroke
Knapp Neurology Clinic
For Mid-Valley patients who need to make an appointment to see a physician who specializes in neurology, the Knapp Medical Group has a neurology clinic. This clinic is NOT for emergency patients; those patients should instead call 911 immediately.
The Knapp Medical Group Neurology Clinic is located across the street from the hospital, at 1302 E. Eighth Street in Weslaco. For more information or to make an appointment, please call (956) 447-0596.
Staff for the Knapp Neurology Clinic includes an experienced neurologist, Dr. Dario Narro, who provides general neurological care in Weslaco, including stroke management, epilepsy management, and Parkinson’s disease management.
Dr. Narro has been in practice for more than 20 years at Knapp Medical Center. He is board-certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Dr. Narro completed a residency in neurology, as well as an internship in internal medicine, at the University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston. He graduated from medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center – San Antonio, after earning a bachelor’s degree in biology at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.
Among other accomplishments, Dr. Narro has been recognized as a “Texas Super Doctor” in Texas Monthly magazine.
Stroke Support Group
The Weslaco Stroke Support Group is co-sponsored by Knapp Medical Center and Weslaco Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. The Stroke Support Group holds educational meetings with guest speakers, etc. In addition, stroke survivors are honored during an annual “BE-FAST” Stroke Awareness 5K Walk / Run which is held in front of Knapp Medical Center during the month of May. For more information on the Weslaco Stroke Support Group or the Stroke Awareness 5K Walk / Run, please call (956) 969-2222 or e-mail ElsaQuintero@ErnestHealth.com or AWagman@PrimeHealthCare.com.
Support Group for Myasthenia Gravis Patients
Myasthenia Gravis is a neurological disease that causes a person’s muscles to become weak. In some cases, it can be potentially-disabling or even a life-threatening condition. A support group for Valley residents with Myasthenia Gravis has held several meetings at the Knapp Conference Center. The support group is free and open to all “MG” patients, family members, caregivers, healthcare professionals and other interested Valley residents. For more information, please contact the Myasthenia Gravis Support Group for the Rio Grande Valley at (956) 254-3510 or at MauBillKaren@live.com.
Additional Resources on Stroke
American Stroke Association
This division of the American Heart Association offers support, information, and more.
National Stroke Association
The National Stroke Association devotes all its resources to stroke. Supported by major pharmaceutical and medical device makers, it offers information and support to patients, caregivers, and medical professionals.